Archive for February 2013

Just a Reminder–I Can Help You or Your Friends/Family ANYWHERE in the World. Just Call!

A friend/client of mine reminded me today that I can help ANYONE in the world provided their computer will power up into their operating system (Windows or MAC.)

Yesterday I helped a client’s mother in Colorado get setup with Skype, so the two of them could see and talk to each other.  I was here in Austin, but remotely I was able to log into her computer, get Skype installed, explain how to use and now, she and her daughter see and hear each other  whenever they want.

I’ve helped people (remotely) all over the U.S. and even as far as Holland.  I suspect due to a client of mine that I’ll be remotely supporting her family in Australia.  The technology really doesn’t care if it’s across the street or across the globe.  It works the same and so do I.

So if you have friends or family that needs computer help, even if they are not in Austin, please pass my name on to them.  I’ll be happy to help them.

Ready to Replace Your Windows XP Desktop?

No one likes to spend money unnecessarily or unexpectantly.  However, if you have an older computer running Windows XP, you’re going to need to replace it in less that 15 months, because April 8, 2014 is the LAST day Microsoft will support Windows XP with security updates.

Now, don’t get mad at Microsoft – they are still supporting an operating system that is 12 years old.  Normally that would have ended a couple of years ago but because companies refused to move to Windows Vista when it came out, Microsoft agreed to extend it’s support of Windows XP.  Well, Windows Vista has come and gone, and so has Windows 7.  Windows 8 is the newest version of Microsoft’s operating system and it’s time to say goodbye to Windows XP.

It may not be in your budget, but now might be the right time to replace that old desktop.  If you’re on a tight budget, then I’d like to recommend you look at this refurbished desktop.  Brownbox.com is a division of ACER, who bought Gateway computer a few years ago. 

imageI have several clients with these computers and they are great.  These are computers that were sold as new, then returned for some reason (sometimes because they didn’t like the color – whatever) and basically are in fact NEW computers that legally can’t be sold as new.

These computers come in as onesie’s-twosie’s so the deals come and go.  Don’t get less than an Intel Core i3 processor, but at the time I’m writing this they have a great deal on the Core i5 (I’m not currently recommending the AMD line of processors.)

These are great deals because you can get (if your timing is good) a Core i5 for $339!  That’s unheard of!

These are great machines with fast processors, plenty of memory, big hard drives and most include built-in wireless cards and the latest and very fast USB 3.0 technology.

Go check them out here, feel free to contact me with specific questions about what’s best for you.  Happy Shopping!!!  Here’s the link:  http://goo.gl/Px3DS  Be sure to read the specs before you buy.

P.s. I DON’T recommend you go out and buy refurbished laptops, this is specific to desktops refurbished by the manufacturer.

New Security Alert!

I won’t get technical with you, but there has been a new vulnerability discovered in routers using UPnP (that’s ALL routers.)  This vulnerability could allow a bad guy to get into your computer regardless of your router and any anti-virus software you may be running.

Fortunately for you, the security guru I follow has a simple tool to let you know if you’re exposed or not.   Go to this link:  https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2, read the disclaimer and then click on “Proceed".

At the next screen, click on the big yellow button that says “GRC’s Instant  UPmP Exposure Test”.  If you get an “Exposed” result, then you probably need my help in getting your router locked down.  Most of you will pass so you’re good to go.

If you want to further test your router, go back to the link above and scroll down a little further and click on the “All Service Ports” menu item.  This will check to make sure you’re router isn’t responding to requests from strangers on the Internet.  If it is, well, then you probably need to call me as well.  You router shouldn’t be responding to anonymous requests from the Internet – if it does, then your computer might be compromised to the bad guys on the Internet.

I expect most of you to pass just fine – but this is a good test to run to ensure that your router is set up the way it should be.

Are You Seeing the Signs?

imageIf you’re on a Windows machine, you probably see the little blue icon or yellow shield down in the lower right corner of your screen in the task tray.  That’s a hint that yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month and therefore – patch Tuesday (not to be confused with Fat Tuesday – which was also yesterday.)

This is a BIG set of patches, fixing critical flaws in Internet Explorer and also in Windows, so don’t put it off.  Get it done!  You’ll need to restart your system when the updates are finished.

imageAnd of course, let me take this time to remind you to keep your eyes out throughout the month for updates to Java, Flash and Acrobat Reader.  There are security updates, so don’t ignore them when you see them.

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